Skip to content

Reports - 57. page

A Lower Domestic Standard for Consumption Goods?

For a long period of time, although merchandize made in China has frequently been recalled in other countries, China’s domestic merchandize has seldom been recalled due to poor quality. Not only does China lack the disciplinary mechanism to recall poor quality products, except drugs; China’s merchandize for domestic consumption usually has a safety standard that is lower than international norms. The following is a translation of the report from Voice of America. [1]

The Quality of Merchandize for Domestic Consumption in China is Lower Than Exported Merchandize

By Sun Feng
January 9, 2008

Although we have seen that outside of China, Chinese made products have frequently been recalled due to poor quality, China’s domestic merchandize seldom faces similar problems. Not only does China lack the disciplinary mechanism to recall poor quality products; China’s merchandize for domestic consumption usually has a safety standard that is lower than international norms.

In May and June of 2007, many countries announced the recall of tainted toothpaste made in China, because it contained the poisonous chemical diethylene glycol (DEG). The very same toothpaste has never been removed from China’s merchandize shelves.

In June of 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a warning that toothpaste imported from China contained more than 4% DEG and warned the public not to use toothpaste made in China.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, an organization under China’s State Council, issued a public notice in July 2007 forbidding the use of DEG as a toothpaste ingredient, and banning its export. However, it did not ban the sale of toothpaste with DEG within China. To the contrary, the General Administration specified in this same public notice that toothpaste with less than 15.6% DEG would not harm anyone’s health, and that "consumers do not need to worry too much about their health if they have used this type of toothpaste."

For a long period of time, although merchandize made in China has frequently been recalled in other countries, China’s domestic merchandize has seldom been recalled due to poor quality. Not only does China lack the disciplinary mechanism to recall poor quality products, except drugs; China’s merchandize for domestic consumption usually has a safety standard that is lower than international norms.

Take the auto safety evaluation system as an example. The head-to-head collision standard in the U.S. is 56 kilometers per hour, while it is 50 kilometers per hour in China.
{mospagebreak}
Gao Hongbing, the deputy minister of China’s Ministry of Agriculture admitted on Tuesday that China lagged behind other countries in setting up product standards and that there is still a gap between China and developed countries in this respect.

Wang Hai is the host of Wang Hai Hotline, a "consumers’ rights protection" group. According to Wang, establishing overly low standards for domestic merchandize occurred because no representatives for consumers were present when the standards were drafted.

"Why can’t China’s quality standards be improved?" asked Wang. "The key is, first of all, the standards were set by the leaders of the particular enterprise, with little or no involvement from the general public. In other words, the consumers’ rights protection group has no way to participate in the decision making process. In addition, we have virtually no on to speak for consumer’s interests. In China, there is no organization that truly represents consumers’ interests. The Consumers’ Association is a state-run organization. It can only serve a very limited purpose in protecting consumers. We also lack a third-party inspection organization. The inspection organizations we have are all state-run institutes."

According to Wang Hai, in the battle between consumers and entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurs have considerable resources while consumers have none. The government is usually overly lenient with enterprises, for the sake of economic development. In addition, many of the enterprises are either state-run companies or have government backing. All media outlets are state-run mouthpieces. They do not dare to offend their major advertising clients either.

However, the legal consultant of the Consumer Association of Beijing Qiu Baochang has a different point of view. According to Qiu, it is an inappropriate generalization to say the standards for domestic merchandize are lower and are higher for exports.

"Inside China we have our own standard," Qiu said. "As long as we meet this standard, we do not have any problem selling the product inside China. Of course it remains a question whether China’s domestic standard is the same as those of other countries. Can they ever be exactly the same? I don’t think it is possible to unify the standard, because there are issues like development of the market economy and scientific development."

He also said when drafting the standards the authorities had taken protecting consumers’ interests into consideration.

According to Mao Shoulong, director of the Department of Administration and Management at People’s University, many agricultural produces intended for export are refined goods. They are different from the products for domestic consumption. Although it’s a common belief that the standards for goods for domestic consumption should be improved, he believes that implementing those new standards will encounter many problems.
{mospagebreak}
Mao said, "For example, many of the companies may be forced out of business. This year, the price of food itself is rising sharply. If we factor in the improvement of the processing technique and other investments, as well as training personnel and the management team, the cost will be high. It will bring a huge change to the market. If we cannot adjust to the change, the price may go up 100%, not just the 5%, 10% or 30% that we are experiencing right now. It may bring about some social problems."

Long Yongtu, the current general secretary of the Boao Forum for Asia, was the leading negotiation representative when China joined the WTO. Long also shared his opinion on this subject. He believed there was no need to have two different standards. "We had no other choice when China was a poor country." Long added, "Now things have changed. Chinese civilians’ well-being is as important as that of foreigners."

Endnote
[1] Voice of America, January 9, 2008
http://www.voanews.com/chinese/w2008-01-09-voa39.cfm

Party Leadership Calls for Emancipation of the Mind

In the past year, the four Chinese characters “jie fang si xiang” or” emancipation of the mind” has repeatedly appeared in important places on government documents. The media as well as the general public are still fumbling for the real reasons behind the use of these words. Here, we provide translated excerpts from two articles appearing in mainland media.

Nanfang Weekend, January 17, “Party think tank calls for ‘emancipation of mind’”[1]
“After the 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (NCCCP), party and administrative leadership at the provincial level have widely used this term. They include the new Shanghai party chief, Yu Zhengsheng, Chongqing party chief, Bo Xilai. The new party chief of Guangdong Province, Wang Yang, has drawn the most attention from media. Wang gave his famous talk in the southern province, calling for “a new round of emancipation of mind.”

If you think that use of this term is a regional phenomenon, you may be underestimating the size of the wave. While people are hotly debating Wang’s talk, Shi Zhihong, the deputy director of the CCP Central Committee’s Policy Research Department, published an article on January 5th in Jiefang Daily entitled ‘The Party’s 17th NCCCP and the New Emancipation of the Mind from a New Starting Point — A Discussion of Various Aspects of the 17th NCCCP Report after Continued Reflection.’

It came to the author’s attention that the 12,000-character-long article did not receive much attention from the media. However, this article has a deeper meaning, considering the influence of Jiefang Daily among all the party newspapers as well as the author’s own workplace.

The CCP Central Committee’s Policy Research Department has always been the ruling party’s think tank. It drafts all types of documents for the party’s central leadership. Wu Mingyu, a former deputy director of the Development and Research Center under the State Council, told the author that the Central Committee’s Policy Research Department “ought to record and understand the developments of high-level officials’ thoughts, integrate various research agencies’ reports, and send important pieces to party leadership.” For an article written by the deputy director of the Central Committee’s Policy Research Department, one cannot simply take it as personal opinions. The author Shi Zhihong also was publicly announced as one of the members participating in the drafting of the 17th NCCCP report read by Hu Jintao at the Congress.

As early as before the 17th NCCCP took place, the official Xinhua News Agency published an article entitled ‘Looking Forward to the 17th NCCCP: Standing at a New Historic Height and Raising the Sail of Emancipation of Mind.’ The article said, ‘Emancipation of the mind without hesitation … is a new test for us.’ In the 17th NCCCP report, it said that ‘Emancipation of the mind is a magic weapon for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.’
{mospagebreak}
Shi’s article … added that ‘obviously, developing socialism with Chinese characteristics and continued emancipation of the mind is the main theme throughout the report.’

The article also said that, only around this ‘main theme,’ ‘one can truly understand the essence of the 17th NCCCP report, comprehend the mission of the party at this new historical point, and grasp the direction the party takes to continue on emancipation of the mind along the party’s new development and practices.’ The article added, ‘Therefore, emancipation of the mind ought to enter a new and higher realm.’”

People’s Forum on peopledaily.com.cn, “Why is emancipation of mind is even more necessary at this moment?” [2]

“Judging by the international trend, we need emancipation of the mind more now than at any other time. Globalization as an expansion of the domestic, economic activities is crucial to the long-term development of the global economic structure. During the current peaceful development, the powers and the distribution of interests are undergoing a deep reshuffle.

Only when we constantly emancipate the mind can we easily handle the developments, changes, and competition. Only then can we become successful, avoid losses, and achieve the goals of developing the nation and securing a position in the future global power map.

Judging by the domestic situation, we also need emancipation of the mind more than at any other time. With reform at a critical point, relationships among interest groups are getting more and more complicated. New situations and new problems are constantly emerging. Although our modernization has made great achievements, we continue to be at the preliminary stage of socialism for a long time. The pressures and tasks of development are thus imminent. Although people’s living conditions are continuously improving, there is a trend of deepening inequalities in income distribution between different regions and between rural and urban areas. Although the economy grows rapidly, social welfare, such as education and medical care, has not been able to keep up with it, making it difficult for people to receive medical care and education. Only if we constantly emancipate the mind can we calmly deal with future risks, safely pull through social transitions, protect the stability of the nation during reform and development, and guarantee the smooth progression of the modernization of socialism.”

There are bottom lines to emancipation of the mind.

The purpose to emancipation of the mind is to resolve real issues. However, this does not mean that we can say whatever we want to say, do whatever we want to do, and use whatever ways there are as long as it is for the purpose of resolving real issues.  There are bottom lines to emancipation of the mind, which is definitely not encouraging ‘running red lights’ or ‘paying edge ball.’ We must be clear-headed in our thoughts and firm in our political stance. We must especially insist on the fundamental political line of “one central task and two basic points” [3] and we must follow the constitution and laws. These are the bottom lines.
{mospagebreak}
Emancipation of the mind should not deviate from economic development as the central task. We must put our attention on construction and development and treat them as the primary tasks for the nation.

Emancipation of the mind should not deviate from the ‘Four Cardinal Principles,’ in front of which there is no room for freedom. Although our economic structure is pluralistic and the distribution of interests is diversified, the history and the situation of our nation disallow a multi-party political system. We must keep a multi-party cooperation under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. We must insist on the full power and authority of the CCP in the administration, judiciary, economy, culture, and military. We cannot allow so called ‘judicial independence’ or ‘nationalization of military.’ We must insist on socialism, and walk the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must insist on the people’s democratic dictatorship and constantly develop socialistic democracy, thus be able to truly protect people’s benefits and protect the nation’s sovereignty, safety, unity, and stability. We must insist on the fundamental principles and implementations of the Marxism, Leninism, and Maoism. When we combine these with considerations for the constant changes in the current situation, we will be able to constantly enrich and develop the Marxism in practice.”

Endnotes:
[1]
Nanfang Weekend, January 17, 2008
http://www.nanfangdaily.com.cn/ZM/20080110/xw/200801100010.asp
[2]
People’s Forum on peopledaily.com.cn, September 20, 2007
http://news.sohu.com/20070920/n252265363.shtml
[3] “one central task and two basic points”
is the fundamental policy of the CCP at "Rudimentary Stage of Socialism" proposed ah the 13th NCCCP. The "one central task" refers to economic development as the central task; "two basic points" refers to upholding "Four Cardinal Principles" and "Reform and Opening."

China’s State Media Rebukes U.S. NGOs and Private Foundations (part two)

On December 26, 2007, Xinhua News Agency published an article titled “An Investigation of Fake Think Tanks in the United States.” The article listed four U.S. think tanks, calling them “non-governmental organizations funded by the government,” employing “soft daggers” through “financing, supporting, planning subversive tactics, etc. against the targeted nations.” The following is part two of the translation of the entire article. [1]
Financial Tycoon Assisting Government—Open Society Institute

Unlike NED, which was set up by the U.S. government, the Open Society Institute (OSI) was founded by George Soros, an American financial speculator. OSI and the Soros Foundation are one and the same organization under two different names, both headquartered in New York. In addition, Soros also established the Open Society Initiative for West Africa and the Open Society Initiative for South Africa.

Although not directly under the U.S. government, the objectives of OSI and the Soros Foundation to promote democracy and subvert foreign governments “coincide” with those of the U.S. government. It often acts in coordination with government agencies.

At present, the Soros Foundation has branches in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa, all under different names. The activities of the Soros Foundation have extended to over 60 countries and regions. Its modus operandi is that OSI initiates a project that is then implemented by branches of the Soros Foundation. The annual expenditures of the two organizations amount to $500 million and $400 million, respectively.

OSI and the Soros Foundation declare that they are “committed to building and maintaining an open society infrastructure and public facilities.” But critics point out that the “open society” is nothing but a brand name. Provision of aid and alleviation of poverty are but window dressings. The true intention of Soros is to export U.S. ideology and values to those countries deemed not sufficiently democratic and to make a “democratic wave;” thus, change of governments would pave the way for his own financial speculation. According to his theory, a “closed” society lacks in financial investment opportunities, and only by opening it up can he make a fortune.

Classical Cases

Soros was born in Eastern Europe. After rising to affluence and power in the United States, he has in mind at all times to transform his hometown. His foundation started to set foot in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) soon after the disintegration of the former Soviet Union.
{mospagebreak}
In 1990, the Foundation established an International Renaissance Foundation in Ukraine and aggressively pursued “democratic infiltration.” As of 2004, it made a total investment of $82 million. In addition to establishing the headquarters in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, the International Renaissance Foundation has opened 24 branches. It entered into Moldova in 1992 to promote Western values. In 1993, it chose Kyrgyzstan, considered in the West to be “Central Asia’s island of democracy,” and provided key support to the country’s independent media, targeting public health, culture, education, and other fields as the points of breakthroughs and rapid expansion. In 1994, it ventured into Georgia and maintains an official presence in Caucasus. In 1995, the Soros Foundation’s reach found its way into Kazakhstan in Central Asia, to be used as a bridgehead into Central Asia. It broke into Uzbekistan in 1996. In view of the strategic position of the Caucasus, the Soros Foundation included Azerbaijan and Armenia in its global network in 1997.

In Russia, there are about 10 so-called research institutions as well as Soros Foundation branches. The activities of OSI and the Soros Foundations in the CIS countries aim at promoting U.S. values of democracy and freedom and to help establish a pro-U.S. government.

At the end of 2004, an “orange revolution” broke out in Ukraine. Members of Congress of the United States disclosed that the Ukraine OSI under the Soros Foundation played an important role in the launch of Ukraine’s revolution. Yushchenko, who later became the prime minister, was a board member of the Ukraine OSI. In 2005, a “yellow revolution” broke out in Kyrgyzstan. Actually, the Kyrgyzstan OSI under the Soros Foundation had long been working on “democracy.”

Endnotes:
[1] Xinhua News Agency, December 26, 2007
http://news.xinhuanet.com/globe/2007-12/26/content_7315955.htm

China’s State Media Rebukes U.S. NGOs and Private Foundations (part one)

On December 26, 2007, Xinhua News Agency published an article titled “An Investigation of Fake Think Tanks in the United States.” The article listed four U.S. think tanks, calling them “non-governmental organizations funded by the government,” employing “soft daggers” through “financing, supporting, planning subversive tactics, etc. against the targeted nations.” The following is part one of the translation of the entire article. [1]
To subvert other countries, the United States has always used two techniques concurrently. In Iraq, the United States openly employs the military. In comparison, in recent years the United States has used more of a “soft approach,” including financing, supporting, planning subversive tactics, and other means against the targeted nation.

The “soft daggers” are often waged by non-governmental organizations as think tanks, but funded by the government. From Eastern Europe and Latin America, to recently in Myanmar, those “color revolutions” and the political turmoil all have the faint shadow of “the second CIA” behind them.

Then, what are the modus operandi of these organizations and their commonly used approaches? Globe Magazine’s exclusive report will unveil the truth behind these “fake think tanks.”

“The Second CIA”

The United States plans and instigates “Color Revolutions” through non-governmental organizations disguised as think tanks and foundations. It is primarily the U.S. government that funds these fake think tanks. They are in fact instruments of the government to implement the government’s mission of subversion.

There are numerous non-governmental organizations in the United States, with complex relationships among themselves. Among them four stand out: the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation), Freedom House and the Albert Einstein Institute.

The Truth about the Second CIA – the National Foundation for Democracy

Almost all of the National Foundation for Democracy (NED)’s funding comes from a governmental appropriation by the U.S. Congress. The NED is in fact a government department, albeit a non-governmental organization, and acts in concert with the State Department, the CIA and the Agency for International Development. It is known as “the Second CIA.”

The NED’s network includes four affiliates: the Republican’s International Republican Institute, the Democrats’ National Democratic Institute, The Center for International Private Enterprise of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Solidarity Center of the AFL-CIO. Other recipients of NED grants include Democracy Magazine, the World Democracy Movement, the International Forum on Democracy, the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship Program and the Center for International Media Assistance.
{mospagebreak}
In 1982, the then President Reagan proposed an initiative to established a special agency to promote democracy throughout the world. The following year, the United States Congress passed the “State Department Authorization Act,” allocating $31.3 million to set up maintenance of the National Endowment for Democracy, with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The foundation’s mission is primarily to engage in activities that the CIA cannot accomplish by law, such as supporting political parties in other countries.

Every year, the foundation receives government funding through a budget allocation of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (U.S. AID). In Fiscal Year 2004, its income amounted to $81.10 million, 79.25 of which was from government funding. Funding from other foundations was miniscule. Therefore the source of funding shows that it is completely a government entity.

The NED is a bipartisan organization. It allocates half of the Congress appropriated funds to the four affiliates and half to organizational applicants outside the United States.

The foundation is under the leadership of Carl Gershman, formerly a senior adviser to the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Executive Director of Social Democrats, USA. The current Board of Directors includes dignitaries such as Lee Hamilton, the “911” incident Independent Inquiry Committee Co-Chairman, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and Michael Fukuyama, the well known conservative theorist.

The NED’s network spreads throughout the world and its modus operandi is similar to that of the CIA. It supports the world’s largest right-wing business interests and representatives of political organizations. One of its founders, Allen Weinstein, said bluntly, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

Classic Examples

The classic example of the NED’s role in the subversion of foreign governments is Venezuela. Since 1999, when the left-wing Chavez government came to power in Venezuela, the United States has done everything possible to subvert the regime. The NED has played an important role.

The NED has carried out its activities through the U. S. AID Office in the U. S. Embassy in Venezuela, and three “private” offices controlled by the U. S. Embassy. The three offices contacted and provided funding to dozens of Venezuelan institutions, political parties and organizations.
{mospagebreak}
The NED’s activities in Venezuela were carried out primarily through providing funds, facilities and the invitations to visit the United States, and other means to support the political opposition to overthrow the Chavez regime and its coalition of political parties. It provides funding, training, recommendations and leadership to the opposition political parties, non-governmental organizations, media, research institutions, universities, trade unions and business owners, to engage in a project of “quiet interference” with the Chavez regime. The NED’s project has clear short, medium and long-term objectives. The project originated in the Clinton administration and has expanded since Bush assumed office. Some organizations and individuals funded by the NED were directly involved in the 2002 coup attempt, the 2003 oil worker strike and the 2004 referendum to remove Chavez, but none of the three conspiracies succeeded.

According to American media reports, the NED provided $1.13 million to a Venezuela opposition group, to Venezuela’s Center for the Dissemination of Economic Information (CEDICE) and to the Democratic Coordination, in support of their effort to “build consensus on a national agenda.” The funding was used to hold forums and for operational expenses. After the Democratic Coordination obtained funding, it formulated the “consensus on the national agenda,” i.e. the agenda for an interim government. The agenda was to overthrow the Chavez government and establish an interim government. Another Venezuela opposition group obtained $50,000 in funding for its project to collect signatures in an attempted referendum in 2004 to remove Chavez; it ultimately failed.

In the 2006 election, the NED did everything possible to block Chavez from being re-elected, again to no avail.

Endnotes:
[1] Xinhua News Agency, December 26, 2007
http://news.xinhuanet.com/globe/2007-12/26/content_7315955.htm

A County’s Emergency Plan on News Propaganda Work for Sudden Incidents

On November 27, an explosion occurred at Lianhua Science and Technology Inc. of Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, causing dozens of deaths. Overseas Chinese language media reported that the Yancheng City’s Propaganda Department of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) committee and the Xiangshui County Propaganda Department of the CCP committee rapidly reacted to this accident according to their “Emergency Plan on News Propaganda Work for Sudden Incidents” and tried their best to cover the truth.[1] They successfully blocked 21 national and local media agencies and over 69 reporters from reporting the accident by means of bribery including sending prostitutes to reporters. Recently, a working report on handling this accident from the Xiangshui County Propaganda Department of the CCP committee was widely spread on the Internet, detailing how a local government in China attempted to control the media exposure of the incident. [2] Although this report was nowhere to be found on Xiangshui County’s official website, it was very consistent with Xiangshui County’s report in its CCP Construction Work Meeting in February 2007. [3] The February report stated that “[we] need to work closely with the county’s Party committee and government, carefully do well on guiding news reporting, strengthening public opinion management, making sure that the news and public opinion are in line with the county’s Party committee and government …[we] need to maintain the system of regular press briefings and news reviews, improve the quality of media work … [we] need to strengthen and improve coordination with media, learn to deal with different kinds of media, improve communications, gain understandings, dissolve negative reports, and maintain Xiangshui County’s good image.” Below is the translation of the full working report spread on the Internet.

“Calmly Face the Sudden Incident and Put in All-out Effort to Guide the Media”
—Key Practices in Media Coordination Work of the “11.27” Accident in Xiangshui County

by Xiangshui County CCP Committee’s Propaganda Department (December 24, 2007)

On November 27, an explosion occurred at Lianhua Science and Technology Inc. in Huagongjizhong District of Chenjiagang in Xiangshui County. After the accident, we rapidly reacted according to the “Emergency Plan on News Propaganda Work for Sudden Incidents.” With the city (Yancheng) and county leaders’ personal cares and inquiries, under the leadership of the city and county’s Incident Handling Headquarters, and the direct guidance of the city’s CCP committee’s Propaganda Department and the city’s Media Research and Coordination Team, we began the all-around media agencies’ reception and coordination work. Within a dozen days after the accident, we welcomed and accepted 69 journalists with 21 news agencies, including the Xinhua News Agency, China Youth Daily, China News Services, Xinhua Daily, Jiangsu Legal News, Yangtse Evening Post, CCTV Digital Channel “Safety Online” program, and Jiangsu TV Station. Because of our fast reaction, good strategy, and coordination, especially with the huge support from the city’s major media, the overall coordination work went smoothly and steadily. The media coverage was dominated by positive reports, with rumors suppressed and social stability maintained. Our major practices are the following:
{mospagebreak}
1. Achieve Three “Firsts” to Gain the Initiative on News Coordination

The coordination staff arrived at the accident scene the First time. The “11.27” accident happened around 10:11 a.m. After we were notified, we arrived at the scene around 11:00 a.m. After initial assessment of the situation, we predicted that a lot of media and reporters would come. We immediately decided to set up a temporary reporter reception desk in the meeting room of the Huagongjizhong District’s Management Committee and a news reporter reception in the Five Continent Hotel, so that we could arrange reporters’ board and lodging in a centralized way. The whole staff in the department was mobilized and we transferred 30+ personnel from the Radio and Television Bureau, News Information Center, and other county government agencies to participate in the coordination work. At the same time, we clearly assigned four deputy chiefs of the Propaganda Department to lead four groups to be responsible for the accident scene, treatment location, reporter reception, and service work, respectively.

Receive the reporters in the First time. Whenever a reporter was found to come to Xiangshui County, he/she was first identified, then sent to the Five Continent Hotel for lodging. Every day, we collected the information on newly arrived reporters and reported to the headquarters. We also requested that headquarters tightly control the accident scene and not to allow any reporters entering for interviews or photographs without permission. In the meantime, we also requested the police to check all hotels in Xiangshui County and Chengjiagang and report to us if any reporters checked in. We treated all the reporters in Xiangshui County equally, and treated them as friends with sincerity. We were concerned about their living condition and cooperated with them on their work. We tried to satisfy all their proper requests to gain their understanding, cooperation, and support. Deng Hualin, a reporter from Xinhua News Agency, had to go back to Nanjing City, and we arranged for designated staff and a car to serve him throughout the whole trip. When he arrived, we communicated with him and persuaded him to cancel his second trip for an interview at Xiangshui County. Three days after the accident, three producers from CCTV “Safety Online” program came to Xiangshui County and checked into Xiangshui Hotel without notifying us. They were preparing to do interviews and planned to produce an education program to be broadcast on the CCTV digital channel. After we received the report, we immediately arrived at the hotel and managed to move them to the arranged reception hotel. At the same time, we arranged five staff members and a designated car to follow and serve them. We accompanied them around the clock and successfully blocked them from interviewing people four times. Finally, they had to give up their interview plan. When they decided to go back to Beijing, we sent a car to drive them to Lianyungang City and sent them to board their train.

Provide the news release to media in the First time. During the accident reporting process, the most terrifying thing was not reporters’ sending out their news report quickly, it was that they reported the news with information not provided by the government. Whoever sent out the news in the first place would control the initiative on media report and accident processing. Generally speaking, the first 24 hours after the accident was the critical time frame. In today’s world with the information explosion, delaying reporting would lose the public’s trust in the government. Therefore, with the consent from the headquarters, around 5 p.m. on the same day of the accident, we provided the media with a written news release in the meeting room of the Huagongjizhong District’s Management Committee, and publicized a preliminary report of the explosion. At around 11 a.m. of the 28th, we held a second press conference in the Five Continent Hotel and publicized the progress on the accident investigation; at around 5:30 p.m. on the 29th, we held a third press conference in the Five Continent Hotel and achieved the predicted results. The reporters were satisfied.
{mospagebreak}
2. Keep Three “Combines” to Create an Advantage for News Coordination Work

Combine persuading and dissolving. On the accident scene, our staff and the comrades from the Huagongjizhong District worked together. They patrolled around the clock and guarded the place tightly in order to prevent reporters from entering for interviews without permission. During that time, there were three attempts of reporters trying to climb over the wall and get in for interviews. The patrol staff discovered them in time and persuaded them to leave the scene. At around 6:30 p.m. on the same day of the accident, two groups of reporters were spotted right after they arrived at the scene and they were nicely asked to go back to the Five Continents Hotel.

In the County People’s Hospital where the casualties were treated, in order to provide a peaceful treatment environment, we insisted on disallowing the reporters to enter the treatment area to interview. Once reporters were found, we actively went to talk to them and explained the situation, and sent them to the reporter reception location.

Besides persuading and blocking, we also emphasized dissolving work. Every day, we updated the headquarters on the reporters’ situation. We also timely suggested providing information to the reporters through arranged press conference and news reports, and actively tried to communicate with them better. From the accident day until the day that things calmed down, we had requested the headquarters to arrange three press conferences, where questions, such as the cause of the accident and the identities of the victims, asked by reporters from the Xinhua News Agency and China Youth Daily, were answered. This promptly solved their puzzles and gained good results.

Combine treating media equally and giving special care to important media. We treated all the media agencies equally, but with difference. For important media, we treated them with importance; for ordinary media, we treated them ordinarily. The Xinhua News Agency is our government’s official news agency and has a big influence over other media. They are treated as the most important one among the important ones. We arranged one deputy chief of the Department to accompany Xinhua reporters on a 24/7 basis and served them all along, so as to know their interview plan right away. The reporters Deng Hualin and Liu Zhaoquan had requested repeatedly to go to the accident scene after we provided them with the news report. They even broke the staff’s blockades twice. After carefully considering the situation, the headquarters agreed. On the morning of November 29, we went with them. They took pictures, published two photos, testing the air and part of the accident scene. They objectively reported the appropriate handling of the accident. Many websites immediately carried their articles. This became the mainstream voice on the accident and eliminated the extreme actions from the reporters of the China Youth Daily, Life Week magazine, and a few others influenced by rumors. Finally, most of the reporters obeyed and cooperated with the news coordination arrangements.
{mospagebreak}
Combine the work in centralized and decentralized way. During our work, on one hand, we concentrated on the reporters’ reception and the news coordination work, on the other, headquarters required the Huagongjizhong District, the County People’s Hospital, the mortuary, Lianhua Science and Technology Inc., the police, the Safety Administration Bureau, the Environment Bureau, and the taxi companies to actively participate and cooperate with the news coordination work besides their own duties and keep their eyes closely on the reporters and report their whereabouts. No entity or individual was allowed to be interviewed without headquarters’ permission. On the evening of November 27, 2007, when the reporters from the Xinhua News Agency Jiangsu Province Branch forcefully went to do an interview in the County People Hospital, the hospital staff refused their requests by taking the whole situation into account. They didn’t allow the reporters to enter the patients’ rooms. When the reporters insisted, they contacted the hospital leaders and kept the reporters out of the patients’ rooms with the excuse of medical treatments. On the morning of December 5, 2008, three reporters from CCTV’s “Safety Online” program took a taxi from the Wenhua Taxi Company to go to Shadang Village, Chenjiagang to interview. They requested the taxi driver to turn off his cell phone. Under such circumstance, the driver borrowed other people’s cell phone and reported them to the headquarters while they weren’t paying attention. He provided very important clues and successfully prevented their interview activity.

During the reception process, we discovered that there were pros and cons to treating all reporters in one place. It was easier to control them, but the reporters could work together and communicated between them, which caused many disadvantages on news coordination work. To solve this problem, we combined the work in a centralized and decentralized way. One reporter from China Youth Daily had been not cooperative since arriving at Xiangshui County. He strongly requested many times to interview at the accident scene. On November 27, 2007, after we found out that he contacted the reporters from Xinghua News Agency, we immediately reacted by moving him to the Xiangshui Hilton Hotel. At the same time, a deputy chief with three staff from the Propaganda Department were assigned to watch him around clock. At 5 a.m. on November 28, 2007, this reported tried to sneak out of the hotel but was caught by our staff who blocked him on time.

3. Search for Three “Supports” to Provide a Strong Safeguard on News Coordination Work

Search for the support from higher-level officials, especially from officials in charge. After the accident, we assessed the situation and reported to the leaders in the city Propaganda department. The branch chief flew back to Yancheng City from Beijing on the same day and came to Xiangshui County right away. He personally stayed in the Five Continent Hotel to lead the coordination work. The related comrades from the city’s News Coordination Team came to the accident scene on the afternoon of the accident day and participated in the reporters’ reception work until the work was almost done. The comrades from the Internet Section reported their findings quickly and helped to delete all the untruthful information on the Internet. Dai Yuanhu, the member of the city’s Standing Committee of the CCP, personally helped to arrange and coordinate the press conference-related work. On November 29, 2007, Zhou Dexiang, the chief of city CCP Committee’s Propaganda Department, personally led us to visit and report to Sun Zhijun, a member of Jiangsu Provincial Standing Committee of the CCP and chief of Jiangsu Provincial CCP Committee’s Propaganda Department, Zhou Shikang, the deputy chief of Jiangsu Provincial CCP Committee’s Propaganda Department, Liu Dehai, a member of Jiangsu Provincial CCP Committee’s Propaganda Department, Jin Weiqi, the chief of News Section of Jiangsu Provincial CCP Committee’s Propaganda Department, Zhou Feng, the chief of the Internet Section of Jiangsu Provincial CCP Committee’s Propaganda Department, Jian Ran, the director of the Xinhua News Agency Jiangsu Branch, and Li Can, the executive chief editor of the Xinhua News Agency Jiangsu Branch. On the second day, we also communicated with Xinhua Daily, Jiangsu Legal News, Jiangsu Economics News, and Jiangsu Internet Monitoring Section. The city CCP Committee’s Propaganda Department and News Coordination Team paid strong attention and gave strong support, which played a decisive role in the news coordination work.
{mospagebreak}
Search for the support from the media. The news coordination work gained sincere understanding and support from China County Economics News, Yangtse Evenings Post, Modern Express, and Jiangsu Legal News, etc. There were four batches of reporters from Jiangsu Legal News that came, however, after we talked to them, they showed their understanding and didn’t do any reporting. The chief of Jiangnan Times Yangcheng City Branch showed sympathy after listening to our situation; they went back on the same evening and did not report anything. China County Economics News Jiangsu Branch not only didn’t send any reporter, furthermore, but even helped the coordination work with other media.

Search for the support from people of different walks of life. We contacted the comrades who were originally from Xiangshui County and now work in media-related agencies at the night of the accident, reported the situation, and asked for their help to smoothen the situation with their personal relation. They helped to use the news release we provided and dissolved the news reporting on this accident. One comrade working in the State Council News Office helped us contact the Chinese Communist League’s secretary in charge of China Youth Daily, and requested to dissolve the news reporting on the accident and not to make a big deal. Zhou Lan, the chief of Sheyang County’s CCP Committee’s Propaganda Department also actively helped us to coordinate with the reporters from Xinhua News Agency.

On the afternoon of December 4, while attending the 5th anniversary celebration in Jiangsu Legal News Yangcheng City branch, we heard from a media friend that the CCTV’s “Focus Interview” program planned to come to Xiangshui County to interview on the “11.27” accident. We took this very seriously. On one hand, we reported this to the related leadership and prepared for how to deal with the matter; on the other hand, we immediately obtained the information on who was coming and his cell phone number along with his background, and pressured him through his agency. In the meantime, we quickly got in touch with the contact person with the reporter and met him in Guanyun County. We told him about the situation and asked him to communicate with the CCTV reporter and told them about the untruthful news materials and persuade him not to do the interview. Therefore, we prevented a major news event from happening.

Endnotes:
[1] Chinascope, January, 2, 2008
http://chinascope.org/main/content/view/472/108/
[2] Boxun, January 17, 2008
http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2008/01/200801172216.shtml
[3] Xiangshui County’s government website,
http://www.xsxcw.com/typenews.asp?id=220

Farmers Initiate Second Revolution in Land Ownership

In mid December 2007, three headlines appeared on overseas Chinese websites: “40,000 Heilongjiang Farmers’ Declare to the Whole Nation: Permanent and Full Land Ownership,” [1] “About 70,000 Sanmenxia Farmers Declare the Retaking of Land Ownership,” [2] “Jiangsu 250 Farm Families Declare to the Whole Nation: Permanent Ownership of Residence Bases.” [3]

At the time the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took power in 1949, China was practicing the same private land ownership commonly found in economic history. Land rights, including the rights to ownership, use, lease, transactions, mortgage, gift, and inheritance belonged to individuals. In 1956 the regime began the “Collectivization Movement” in rural China, using political power to centralize the land once distributed to farmers and to implement collective farming by force. Immediately after, [the CCP] speedily rolled out the “Communization Movement,” executing collective land ownership and abolishing private land ownership. From that point on, the government took over all land rights and all land.

Article 10 of the Chinese Constitution stipulates, “Rural lands are collectively owned, but the government can levy land taxes or confiscate lands by compensating the farmers.” From the 1980s until around 1992 and from 2003 onwards, a total of three land “enclosure movements” took place in China. Businessmen with government background looted the farmers’ land at extremely low prices in the name of “representing the country.” According to China Construction Bank, from the beginning of 2001 to May 2007, developers had purchased 2.2 billion square meters (23.7 billion square feet) of land with only 1.296 billion square meters actually developed. About 1 billion square meters of land still remained in the hands of developers, enough to supply the whole country’s real estate market for five years. According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, in 2005 there were over 40 million farmers who had lost their land. Over the next five years, as urbanization continues to increase, an additional annual average of 2.65 million Chinese farmers will lose their land over the next five years. According to the Whole Country Land Utilization Planning Outline compiled by the State Council, during the thirty years from 2000 to 2030, 54.50 million mu (8.98 million acres) of farming land will be taken for construction. It’s estimated that with every mu of farm land taken, 1.5 farmers will lose their livelihood. This suggests that China’s “land-losing farmers” will increase from 40 million some years in the past to 110 million in 2030.

In 2007, China’s National People’s Congress passed the Property Rights Law. The law is intended to protect private property. The new law, however, did not make a dent in the current land policy. Even less did it break through the systemic limitations of Chinese socialism. On December 13, 2007, the police gave a criminal detention notice to the family of a civil rights representative who had been helping  Fujin farmers who had lost their land. The police gave a criminal detention notice to Yu Changwu. Representatives for the arrested farmers in Shanxi’s Sanmenxia Reservoir District, Chen Sizhong and Xi Xinji, are under criminal detention. Their arrests have been “formalized” by the Huayin Municipal Procuratorate.
{mospagebreak}
Below is a translation of the Heilongjiang and Sanmenxia Resevoir farmers’ declarations.

Notice of Dongnangang Village, Fujin City, Heilongjiang Province 72 villages, 40,000 Heilongjiang Farmers’ Declare to the Whole Nation: Permanent and Full Land Ownership [1]

We are 40,000 farmers in a total of 10 townships’ 72 administrative villages including Changan Township, Xinglong Townships, and Toulin Tonwship in Fujin City, Heilongjiang Province. In response to Fujin officials at various levels using the need for development of the country as an excuse to forcibly take 1.5 million mu (0.25 million acres) of farmland and wilderness since 1994, we declare our ownership rights as follows:

1. We, 40,000 farmers in 72 administrative villages, have ownership rights to the 1.5 million mu of land. With villages as the boundaries and farm families as the units, the originally occupied collective land [will] all be distributed equally among the whole body of villagers.

2. A farm family’s land ownership rights include the right to use, the right to earn, the right to inherit, , and the to negotiate and the right to set prices when the government or developers want to take the land for development.

3. Over 900 villagers from Dongnangang Village, Changan Township took the lead in taking back 996 shuang (about 15,000 mu) of occupied land, and have already distributed it evenly among the whole body of villagers. Before doing so, they dismissed the former head of the village, who had colluded with officials who encroached on the farmers’ collective interest. All other villages will follow this method in succession to regain and evenly distribute the occupied land in each village. Every villagers’ committee and all other self-governing organizations elected by villagers have the responsibility to support the farmers on this proposal [of land-ownership], have the responsibility to organize and lead the entire body of villagers to take back the occupied land that originally collectively belonged to the villagers, and have the responsibility to distribute the land according to the principal of individual equity. [When] encountering collusion between officials and businessmen or forcible requisitions, every villagers’ committee and [every] self-governing organization has the obligation to organize [a] village militia to defend to the death the farmers’ land ownership rights.

4. The CCP’s organizations at various levels and the government at various levels should, in accordance with the revolutionary ideal and the promise of ‘land to the tillers’ in those years, lead the farmers to land reform, like in the early stage of reformation, support the farmers’ land operation rights, respect farmers’ pioneering spirit, and support and protect farmers’ various land rights. The Central Committee of the Party has, for many years, cared about the countryside, cared about why the farmer’s preferential policies were never implemented, and why farmers’ circumstances can never undergo a substantial change. The root [of the problem] is “favor but no implementation.” Completely give the land to the farmers—only then can [this] be the most effective and the most realistic preferential policy. Currently China’s countryside is still fundamentally unsuited for collective operation. When the time is appropriate and when it’s necessary, we, the farmers, will self-organize a collective operation.
{mospagebreak}
5. Collective land in the countryside should belong to the whole body of villagers who form the collective. Farmers have the right to decide together on the form of land ownership. For a long time, the so-called collective ownership, in reality, denied the rights of the farmers as land owners. Various levels of the Fujin municipal government have repeatedly and wantonly occupied and privately possessed farmers’ land in the name of the country and the collective. In reality, [they] have become the ‘landowners.’ But the farmers—the real owners of the land—have been forced to become serfs who toil for the ‘landowners’’ land. Together we decided to change this kind of land ownership. Through ownership by farm families and farm individuals, we truly implement and protect the status of farmers as land owners.

6. We believe, just like at the beginning stage of reformation and opening up—where farmers owned the right to operate the land, great changes took place in the countryside—farmers’ land-ownership rights won by farmers will create even greater changes in the countryside. We, farmers, have suffered enough from pillage, suppression, and the fate of having no help from the heaven and earth. Now we believe that only when farmers directly practice [their] rights, will farmers have rights, and will farmers’ human rights improve.

Land is a farmers’ life; it is the farmers’ greatest human right. [Only when farmers] truly have land-owning rights, can we farmers settle down and get on with our lives, can Chinese farmers settle down and get on with their lives, can the entire country settle down and move on.

December 8, 2007

In Shanxi Province Former Yellow River about 70,000 Sanmenxia Farmers Declare They are Regaining Land Ownership [2]

We are about 70,000 returning farmers [from] 76 administrative villages of Dali County, Huayin City, and Tongguan County. [When] the country built the Sanmenxia Reservoir in the 1950’s, [it] occupied a total of 800,000 mu of our farm land. Through 30 years of blood-and-tears resistance by tens of thousands of migrants, who were forced to leave home, in the 1980s, the State Council appropriated 300,000 mu of land to settle returning migrants. In actuality, the migrants were only given 150,000 mu. Another 150,000 mu of farm land belonging to the farmers as clearly stipulated by the State Council directive, was directly taken by Weinan City and Sanmenxia County officials at various levels, or has been taken in actuality under various names and used by those seeking their own economic interests. Annual land rental alone amounts to 40 to 60 million yuan. Heretofore, close to 120,000 of the 150,000 mu of occupied land has already disappeared from the reported statistics. This is to say that not only have the officials used various means to actually occupy the land, they have also been brazenly swallowed the land. Large and small modern-day “landlords” have appeared in the Reservoir District. For us migrants, the actual average cultivation land is less than 2 mu (0.33 acres) per person. In order to make a living, [we] are forced to pay officials high rent to farm the land that originally belonged to us. Several decades of appeals hasn’t solved [the problem], the procedures stipulated by the law hasn’t solved [the problem.] {mospagebreak}
We, approximately 70,000 Sanmenxia County farmers, now together decide to take back our right to land ownership, and announce the following to the entire country (each of the undersigned is a family representative):

1. Every family of ours has permanent ownership rights to the individually contracted land [in the] total of 150,000 mu originally in the village collective. Land allocation and usage belong to our offspring. We have the right to use, rent, inherit [the land]; if someone wants to develop, rent or occupy [the land], please negotiate with us directly. We only recognize [those] governmental planning agencies that are in accordance with the public interest and [those] taxes stipulated by the law.

2. Every family of ours also has permanent ownership rights to the 150,000 mu of land that were appropriated back to the farmers by the State Council but which have long been occupied and privately possessed by officials at various levels. We will organize together, and directly give back [the land] to each family for permanent ownership according to average farmer acreage, [and] end the many years of illegal occupation and possession of land by officials from various levels.

3. We abandon the original ‘village collective’ form of land ownership. This kind of land [ownership] cannot guarantee farmers’ permanent rights to the land. This kind of ‘village collective’ often cannot accurately reflect the consensus of the entire village of farmers, cannot stop officials and the black force’s illegal infringement of the land [rights] and on other farmers’ interests. Every village committee shall assume the responsibility of protecting farmers’ land rights, and cannot place [its will] above the whole body of farmers, or occupy or allocate land.

4. As to the billions of various migrant fees annually appropriated by the country for the past several decades, we also need to square the account. What belongs to the farmers must be given to the farmers. [We] will also pursue the related illegal behavior, such as corruption, embezzlement, occupation, etc.

5. We have land ownership rights. If, in addition, we can run enterprises in education and health care sector, the three new ‘mountains’ on top of the farmers will be removed. The farmers’ social security will basically be taken care of by itself. In recent years, the Central Committee of the Party has given farmers some economic sops. We believe only farmers’ land rights and entrepreneurial rights are big economic favors. [Only then] can the countryside’s problems be solved from the root, can farmers be equal to the city dwellers, and can [they] participate and share the fruits of modernization. [Only then] can villagers’ self-governing elections [that has been instituted] for the past twenty years truly be decent.
{mospagebreak}
6. We, in the countryside, are very clear: No matter what laws and what policies the government uses, it will be very difficult to manage the land. [If] land rights are again returned into the hands of farmers, those bad forces blinded by greed won’t dare to act recklessly. Because [what] you’ll be occupying, will no longer be collective land. It will be my land, my life root. I’ll risk my life. When the power of the farmers is mobilized, the government will be free from the burden to protect the land. Base level government will then rely on industrial and farming taxes to maintain operation. [It] can no longer depend on taking farmers’ land and engaging in the so-called ‘land finance.’

We, the Reservoir District farmers, send regards to the entire country’s people!

December 12, 2007

End Notes:
[1] Boxun.com, December 9, 2007
http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2007/12/200712091236.shtml
[2] Canyu.org, December 12, 2007
http://www.canyu.org/n208c6.aspx
[3] Aboluo Web, December 15, 2007
http://www.aboluowang.com/news/data/2007/1215/article_36721.html

Free High Quality Images Download Free Stock Images Download Free Images Free Stock Photos & Images Beautiful Free Stock Photos (CC0) Free stock photos